The numbers are OK, but investors may be cranky: This is the third time in a row that Discovery Communications‘ earnings have fallen short of the Street’s projections. The company reported Q1 net income of $231M, +3.6% vs the period last year, on revenues of $1.16B, +6.5%. The top line is a little ahead of the $1.15B that analysts anticipated. But earnings at 64 cents a share are a penny shy of the consensus forecast. Revenues for the U.S. networks were up just 1% to $686M. The segment suffered in comparison to last year when it benefited from a slug of cash from streaming services. Distribution revenues were down 9% year-over-year. Yet many may be surprised to see ad sales up 8%; some analysts expected to see a number closer to 10%. All told, the adjusted cash flow for the U.S. networks fell 5% to $377M. International was a different story with revenues up 17% to $444M, and adjusted cash flow +8% to $184M. Discovery projects that it will end this year with as much as $5.7B in revenue and as much as $1.3B in net income available to shareholders. The year “is off to a great start and with continued focus on strong operating execution, we anticipate building on the financial success we have achieved over the last several years while delivering significant shareholder value,” CEO David Zaslav says.
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